Paddle Australia and AOCRA working together to achieve better outcomes for a United Paddling Community

The Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) and Paddle Australia (PA) are excited to be collaborating to develop a plan that will deliver better outcomes for all paddlers across the country. 

The plan will leverage existing synergies between the two organisations to realise new opportunities that will achieve genuine value for respective members and clubs in the paddling community. 

Both organisations have targeted several initiatives that will commence immediately, designed to create value for all paddlers. 

PA and AOCRA are working to establish and operate under a single National Integrity Framework (NIF) that will cover all the Clubs and members of both organisations. PA has been working with Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) to finalise the new National Integrity Framework and associated policies. The NIF will be launched on 7 May 2022 and as part of this work, a new Dispute Resolution Policy will also be put in place. 

Mick Seay, AOCRA President said: “Integrity in sport is vital, particularly when it comes to providing safe environments for our members, especially children and young people.

“There is no benefit in our organisations having separate approaches. PA is well advanced in adopting the NIF and we see no reason to duplicate the work that has already been done.”

Another area of focus will be insurance. AOCRA and PA currently hold insurance policies that offer different cover. The risk profile of some of the activities and the craft used are quite different. AOCRA has protocols in place designed to manage risk and their insurance policies are in place to cover their members and clubs. PA takes the same approach, but the risks are different.

Paddle Australia CEO, Phil Jones, said “While our organisations have a lot in common, we operate quite differently in some areas.

“For now, we need to ensure that the insurance in place is tailored to the different activities of PA and AOCRA members and clubs. 

“The ideal outcome is that all members will have the option to move between AOCRA and PA events without restriction. The first step would be to create a simplified platform for all paddlers to attend combined events, ensuring suitable risk management arrangements are in place and appropriate insurance cover is provided. We are committed to ongoing conversations to try to achieve this. Until then, we need to clarify the situation over dual membership for clubs and individuals.”

PA and AOCRA wish to encourage participation at all events. Whilst working to achieve this outcome, ways will be considered to provide reciprocal rights for AOCRA and PA members to attend sanctioned PA and AOCRA events without members incurring any additional day fees.

To allow both organisations to manage their respective risks and ensure proper governance arrangements are in place whilst discussions continue, the following clarification has been agreed. Where the points the below refer to Outrigger Clubs, this includes Clubs with Outrigger 

in their name, or whose principal activity is Outrigger Canoeing. Where there is doubt over the ‘principal activity’ of a Club, PA will consult with AOCRA and make the final determination.

  1. Outrigger Clubs affiliated to AOCRA will continue to be able to hold dual affiliation with PA and their State Paddle Association (SPA) if they so decide. This will allow individuals to take out membership of PA and their SPA through their Outrigger Club. This dual affiliation will only be available to Outrigger Clubs affiliated to AOCRA. 
  2. Public liability and other club insurance cover for affiliated Outrigger Clubs will be available only through the policies that AOCRA has in place. After 30 June 2022, PA will no longer extend this cover to Outrigger Clubs. Outrigger Clubs that have dual affiliation with PA will be able to rely only on the public liability and other club insurances resulting from their affiliation with AOCRA.
  3. With immediate effect, Certificates of Currency listing Interested Parties will only be issued to Outrigger Clubs by AOCRA. PA will not issue Certificates of Currency to Outrigger Clubs that hold dual affiliation. 
  4. Other than by agreement between PA and AOCRA, events at which any OC3, V3, OC6, and/or V6 outrigger canoes are competing shall be sanctioned, managed, and hosted by an AOCRA affiliated Outrigger Club or body and will follow the AOCRA rules and regulations, including AOCRA insurance and risk management requirements. 
  5. No new insurance cover will be offered under the PA marine hull policy to any Outrigger Clubs or for any other Club seeking to insure OC3, V3, OC6, and/or V6 outrigger canoes. Current cover will not be extended when it falls due for renewal. Arrangements for cover for these craft can be made through AOCRA.

These arrangements will remain in place until further notice. PA and AOCRA will be consulting with Clubs and members during the development of plans. Further updates will be provided to the members of both organisations as soon as possible.

Yours in Paddling

Phil Jones – Paddle Australia CEO

Mick Seay – AOCRA CEO

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